Sometimes our libido needs help.

We either have it, have to much, don’t have enough, or don’t remember what our libido is. And there are times when we have all of these feelings within a 30 day window. Our libido is regulated by our hormones, but it is also affected by our mental and emotional state. When we are stressed, worried, anxious, and/or depressed we often don’t have a libido even if our hormones are in normal working order. On the flip side, we can have our mental and emotional state in a normal place, but have messed up hormones; thus goodbye libido. 

When getting to the root of libido problems, I feel as though we need to always look at hormones as well as address that mental and emotional state. But we also need to understand the normal rhythm of the female body since our libido is affected by these hormones. In and around ovulation time our libido is often times stronger than other points in the cycle. This is because the female body has essentially one job: to get knocked up. So we need more desire to make love to our partners because that will increase our chances of getting pregnant. Shortly after ovulation there can be a normal dip in our libido as the body does not want to have competing sperm after potential fertilization. For a lot of women when they are on their menstrual cycle there is no desire to make love because they are detoxing and cleansing their body. 

The hormones that regulate our libido include estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA. I know most of us think of testosterone as a male hormone, but we women need some testosterone to help with our libido. Too much testosterone does not increase your libido, no, as it actually does the opposite which is similar to too little testosterone. DHEA is the precursor of testosterone, and when we are in our mid 20s our DHEA levels are their highest, but as we get older these levels naturally drop. This is also why in our 20’s, and often times early 30’s, our libido can be better than it is in our mid 40’s, and beyond. That is not to say that some of us don’t have great libido into our 60’s, or that some of us in our late 20’s have a horrible libido. 

Estradiol and progesterone also play a large role in our libido. Actually, these two hormones control us. It is the balance of estrogen and progesterone that either keeps us normal or makes us crazy. This balance also plays into our libido. When there is too much estrogen, in comparison to progesterone, then goodbye libido, and vice versa. These two hormones are why there is that rhythm to our libido. If the hormones are off then we can also have pain with intercourse. Pain will trigger us to fear sex, and so our libido will decrease to avoid the pain. One part of a healthy libido is making sure the hormones are balanced while the other part is making sure that our mental and emotional state is also in balance. 

For us women we often have a million things on the brain at once. We are juggling our work, family, friends, conversations from 6 years ago, and ______. These items can lead to stress, and a stressed body might not feel strong enough to get pregnant. If the body does not feel like it can make it through a stressful situation then it is not going to have any libido because it wants to make sure it does not get pregnant. Family discord, life changes, lack of support, depression, anxiety, and other moods can wipe away libido until we process them and let them go. Often times talking with a therapist can help tease out these emotions, and help you to get the tools you need to heal so that your life can be back in balance. It is the combination of hormones and moods that help us to have a healthy libido. 

Photo Credit: Phlebotomy Tech (CC 2.0 Gen)